It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner – where has the time gone?! 2016 was a great year for all kinds of innovative and never-seen-before gadgets that you might want to put on your list for Santa Claus to drop off. Are you ready to be left with the urge to run to your nearest tech store? Here we go:
DJI Mavic Pro
In the past, using a small drone typically meant sacrificing camera quality, flight range, battery life, and other advanced features. That is officially a thing of the past thanks to DJI’s Mavic Pro. Although it costs a pretty hefty $999 USD, it comes with a lot of bang for its buck. It delivers 4K resolution imagery, battery life, range, and autonomous intelligence that matches up to what you would get from drones more than twice its size – all in a machine that can fit in your back pocket once it’s propellers are folded up. Check out YouTuber Casey Neistat’s comprehensive review of the Mavic Pro versus its much larger counterpart, the Phantom 4 here. Click here for more details about the Mavic Pro,
Nintendo NES Classic
If you can get your hands on one of these bad boys, you’re in for a treat. At $59.99 USD retail (although you’ll have to fight tooth and nail to actually get one at retail price – eBay is a much more reliable, albeit expensive, bet) you’ll be thrown into a whirlwind of nostalgia. NES Classic Edition is a miniaturized version of the groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System, originally released in 1985. Plug it into your TV, pick up that gray controller, and rediscover the joy of NES games like Kirby’s Adventure, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, Metroid, and Super Mario Bros. You can choose your look with different display modes: CRT filter (which looks like an old TV, scan lines and all), 4:3 (which gives you the original NES game dimensions) and Pixel Perfect mode (each pixel is a perfect square, so you see the games exactly as designed). Unlike the NES of the past, you can officially save your game progress and come back to exactly where you left off. Click here for more details about the NES Classic.
If you’re a fan of urban cycling, then you’re going to want to get your hands on this bike accessory. For $149 USD, you’ll be able to turn your ‘regular’ bike into a smart bike. Avoid getting into accidents because you’re awkwardly holding GoogleMaps in one hand and trying to steer through traffic with the other – this little guy is equipped with a turn-by-turn navigation system that’ll show you the quickest, safest routes to your destination. It’ll remind you where you’re parked, track your biking and fitness metrics, and will set off a wild alarm the minute someone tries to nab your bike for themselves. Click here for more details about SmartHalo.
Have you ever been stuck in a room full of people you don’t understand? All that is about to change with the release of Waverly Lab’s Pilot: a smart earpiece that translates languages in real-time with only a few seconds of delay. Although the tech hasn’t quite hit the market yet, you can pre-order the ear pieces for $199 USD – 33% off its will-be retail price of $299 USD! Using the latest in speech recognition technology, you’ll be able to speak in one language, and your friend will be able to hear you in their native tongue. How Star Trek is that? Can’t wait to see how this will dissolve language barriers once it’s released – with our background in testing speech related emerging tech, expect a comprehensive review ASAP. Click here for more details on Pilot.
By now, you’ve definitely heard the buzz around Snapchat’s newest enterprise: its first- person POV sunglasses, retailing at $130 USD a pop. Although the camera quality isn’t the best compared with the resolution smartphones have these days, they’re a great way to capture face-to-face interactions, activities, and unique places without having to deal with a dingling-and-dangling camera around your neck. You can only record ten seconds of footage at a time. However, they do record circular video – a very cool feature which allows you to watch what you captured both vertically and horizontally on your phone. All you have to do is connect the spectacles to the Snapchat app on your phone and voila! You’re good to go. One last thing – make sure you don’t record in private areas like bathrooms and changing rooms – and don’t forget to ask people for their permission if you record them! It’s easy to forget what you’re doing if you aren’t explicitly pointing a camera at someone’s face. Click here for more details on Snapchat Spectacles.
This particular gadget isn’t for everyone – but if you’re into alpine sports, then you might want to dive a little deeper into what these goggles can do for you. For $550 USD, you’ll get one of the most powerful heads-up display devices out there, the Snow2’s onboard sensors accurately sum up all the metrics and performance data you’ll ever need (speed, distance, altitude, and vertical drop to name a few) in real-time. To add another layer of icing to the cake, you can pair the goggles with your smartphone to effortlessly see and reply to messages and control your music without ever having to take your gloves off. Dare I say more? Oh wait! There’s even a friend tracking feature and onboard resort maps so you’ll never find yourself lost atop a snowy mountaintop. Recon has even paired with Oakley to give the goggles a very snazzy finish. Click here for more details on Recon Snow2.
Nike Hyperadapt 1.0
Remember that movie, gee, what was it called again… Back to the Future II! Well, friends, Nike actually decided to bring to life the once-fictional self-lacing kicks Marty McFly wore in the 1989 film. More formally known as the Hyperadapt 1.0, the smart shoes use cables and pressure sensors to determine how tightly they need to be laced without the wearer ever having to bend down and adjust them. When they first came out at the beginning of the month, they were retailing at $720 USD a pair in specific Nike stores in New York City and online in Black/White-Blue Lagoon. Click here for more details on the Nike Hyperadapt 1.0.
Everything we’ve all been waiting for, the team behind Oculus Rift has finally released the missing piece of the puzzle: Oculus Touch controllers. They’ve got buttons, joysticks, triggers, and smart sensors that allow you to reach out and grab things as naturally as you do in real life. Accurate enough that you can juggle things and even bounce a ball on a paddle once you’re in VR, Oculus Touch comes bundled with a second sensor, a Rock Band VR connector, The Unspoken and VR Sports Challenge so you can cast spells and throw passes on day one. They retail at $199 USD, and started shipping globally just a few days ago on December 6th, 2016. Check out one of their teaser videos here to keep that excitement level high – and expect to be thoroughly mind blown once you get your paws on these things! Click here for more details on Oculus Touch.